Despite wondering at times this year whether ChatGPT would take over the world and we’d all be replaced by robots, we’ve weathered the storm of 2023 with flying colours.
In July, we were crowned Employer of the Year at the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2023.
Shortlisted among big names like Amazon, Boeing and several NHS Trusts, an independent panel of business leaders judged that Inzpire best demonstrated an outstanding desire to attract, retain and champion ex-forces personnel.
And that desire is evident in some of the extremely impressive figures we’ve collated to sum up this year’s success.
So, without further ado – here is Inzpire’s year in numbers for 2023!
It’s been a bumper year for new joiners.
In 2023, we saw 87 employees join the Inzpire family, with 667 applying for jobs with us across 44 recruitment campaigns.
And 24 of our existing employees were rewarded with well-earned promotions.
But perhaps the most exiting additions to the Inzpire family have been the 3 fish and 2 snails that have set up home in the HR office!
Our friendly Inzpire fish!
Wellbeing remains top of our agenda and looking after our people has been a core focus throughout 2023.
Sadly, the cost-of-living crisis shows no sign of slowing, and it’s important to us to do as much as we can to support our employees’ financial wellbeing, as well as their mental and physical health. Therefore, every employee received a pay rise of at least £3,000 or 5%, whichever was greater. These measures had the greatest impact for our lower paid colleagues – and some have now received salary increases in excess of 25% in the last 2 years.
Health and safety for our employees is always of critical importance – even when they’re not in the office. This year, we’ve handed out 217 fire safety packs – including extinguishers – for those who work from home. We’ve also given out 361 Inzpire-branded water bottles to encourage our staff to keep hydrated at work.
We've held 3 driver awareness seminars, which have been attended by 51 employees in total. We also had 23 drivers attend Inzpire’s annual grand prix, where everything they’d learned in their driver safety sessions went out of the window....
Keen to ensure our wellbeing initiatives benefitted our employees’ loved ones, we also held 2 family walking weekends, which were attended by 19 employees, plus their families and four-legged friends!
And 22 employees enjoyed a night out watching a flamboyant ensemble of Queen’s greatest hits at Lincoln’s Theatre Royal (we daresay the water bottles might have come in handy the next morning).
97 people completed Insights training, which helps our employees and teams work better together.
When we weren’t go-karting, walking, or enjoying tribute bands, we were working exceptionally hard both in the UK and across the world.
This year, we’ve completed 141 overseas travel trips, with 125 personnel travelling and over 27 countries visited.
39 of our subject matter experts have supported 46 Ministry of Defence trips, travelling to 8 countries alongside our armed forces.
2023 saw GECO’s use within the UK’s military flying training system (MFTS) expanded, with the transition for rotary wing platforms completed in November.
To support their work with MFTS and multiple other clients, our mission systems experts issued 1364 documents as part of their review and approvals process, and 35 work instructions to improve their processes and procedures.
They responded to 295 requests for support across 12 platform types including providing advice and training.
64 customer site visits were conducted to support new GECO system deliveries, installation updates, training delivery and business development. The team travelled 43,500 miles to support our customers in the UK and internationally – this equates to 1.7 times round the earth!
And, to back up all this incredible work, 26 internal training and awareness sessions were completed, with the mission systems team working hard to deliver an even better service than they already do!
The team based at the European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Helicopter Training Centre at Sintra Airbase in Portugal have delivered a total of 11 courses this year to aircrew from the European Union.
5 of those courses have been helicopter tactics courses (HTC); each of these provides 3 weeks of basic tactical instruction to crews operating battlefield helicopters within a warfighting division. This year the HTC have provided training for 77 students from 9 different European nations.
The Helicopter Tactics Instructor course (HTIC) was delivered to 27 students from 7 nations over the course of 7 weeks; 4 of those weeks were conducting ground school and simulator sorties in Sintra, with the remaining 3 being live flying from Papa airbase in Hungary.
Inzpire's instructors out in Hungary
We’ve also delivered 3 electronic warfare courses to aircrew through our electronic warfare technology and training team (EWT&T), with each course being 2 weeks in duration with a total of 61 students from 15 countries being trained.
Lastly, but by no means least, our Composite Air Operations (COMAO) course has been delivered on 2 occasions this year with each course being 2 weeks in duration; a total of 46 students from 16 countries have attended this course.
Of note this year, the simulator - under the watchful eye of Simulator Technician Will Johns - has achieved a staggering 98.6% serviceability with only 53 minutes of delays over 202 sorties. Incredible work, Will!
On the 28th of November this year, the EDA the handed the baton for this training over to the Multinational Helicopter training Centre (MHTC) who, for the next 2 years, will continue with the current programme until the new buildings, simulators and courses are ready to be delivered first quarter of 2026.
Since delivering the first course to the EDA in 2018 we have trained around 600 students from 17 EU countries, all of this was achieved despite the closing down of the EDA function at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in 2019; building a new simulator and installing it in Portugal; redesigning all of the courses; and COVID restrictions to the first HTC delivery in Sintra Q2 of 2021!
Maritime Division continues to help modernise and increase the lethality proficiency on board Royal Navy warships through its development, design, delivery and debriefing of complex, credible and challenging training scenarios.
They’ve delivered 1 Platform Enabled Training Capability (PETC) event where they supplied 32 hours of synthetic tactical training to 3 warfare teams from HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, HMS DIAMOND and HMS KENT as part of their integration into the Carrier Strike Group.
In addition, our maritime experts created 15 new tactical synthetic onboard trainer scenarios for use by 21 frontline warships as a part of their ongoing warfighting assurance, and 1 new overarching geo-political training scenario for use by over 40 frontline warships of the Royal Navy and our NATO friends undergoing training in the UK with FOST.
Continuing our training delivery pedigree
Over the course of 2023, our Wildcat instructors at RNAS Yeovilton have completed 430 hours of live flying, 160 hours in the simulator, and 342 hours of instructional work. 2 of the team also reached the 2000 hours milestone this year!
Our Wildcat instructors have had a busy year delivering both ground-based and airborne instruction to future aviators
Our human factors training was delivered to 251 RAF students, across 44 courses. Tug Wilson, our esteemed head of human factors also delivered 3 courses to Bath Hospital, teaching 36 people, and 1 course to the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society for 15 people.
Over in Space Division, our experts provided re-writes of the UK Space Command Foundational Space Operators Course, ensuring space learning and education is available to over 150,000 service personnel, 60,000 MoD civil servants and 45,000 armed forces cadets and adult volunteers.
Working closely with our Collective Training Division (CTD), the space team also provided 2 experts to COBRA WARRIOR 23-2. They provided 40 days’ worth of support over the 3-week execute phase of the exercise, contributing to the training of 3 new Qualified Space Instructors.
CTD also had an exceptionally busy year in their own right. They supported, and graduated, 1 Lightning QWI and 3 Typhoon QWIs. 4 distributed synthetic collective training exercises were delivered by the Gladiator team, and 2 Inzpire close air support (CAS) subject matter experts worked on contract at the Air Ground Operations School (AGOS - the artist formerly known as JFACTSU) where they successfully emulated 7 different fixed wing CAS-capable aircraft.
The team also delivered 8 missions during Exercise STORM WARRIOR (including 314 aircraft sorties) and 8 weeks of live fly international collective training. They planned and executed 29 UK large force exercises, supported 107 formal visits at the Gladiator facility, and completed 480 hours of international connection for Gladiator exercises. In total, 11,658 miles travelled were travelled by CTD to and from Boulmer to support Ex STORM WARRIOR and Ex COBRA WARRIOR!
And, just as importantly, Bob ‘The Machine’ Chevli rowed 1,200,000 metres (as of early Dec!) on his indoor rower. The sporting pursuits didn’t stop there as Scott Holliday-Stevens scored 41 points at the Inzpire golf day (although questions are still being asked about that one....).
Continuing the theme of collective training, our team embedded within 54 Squadron also had a busy year.
They graduated 3 MQ-9 (REAPER) QWIs, delivered 5 days of mission commander training to the REAPER QWIC, and sat in on more than 10 rehearsals of the QWI end of course presentation for both REAPER and ISR courses.
In addition, they designed, created, delivered, and debriefed over 48 mission simulator sessions; created 457 pieces (valid) of staff work for course delivery (briefs, target packs etc.); created 12 additional, short notice, simulator training events to ensure trainee success; acted as a mission commander 6 times during sim delivery; and delivered an ACE event on behalf of the squadron, training more than 50 personnel.
And our electronic warfare technology and training team were just as busy, delivering 25 weeks’ (1000 hours) of training to students across the world. 6 of these weeks were spent supporting the aforementioned EDA contract, 2 weeks of training was delivered to Belgian defence personnel, 2 weeks to Baltic states and a further 15 supporting a customer in the UK.
Andy Rogerson, one of our electronic warfare and electromagnetic spectrum operations experts, delivering an interactive lesson on decibel rules during a training course
They also supplied over 300 hours’ worth of consultancy to customers in the Far East, Middle East and Europe.
Over in Intelligence Division, the training development team has completed work on 40 different training courses with a further 34 training courses ongoing. They have submitted a total of 640 and the team have attended 320 project meetings.
The course design and delivery team has been hard at work designing and developing 16 Intelligence courses. To date they have produced 271 lessons, consisting of 10,711 PowerPoint slides 1,571,772 words!
In support of these courses, their graphics and simulation team has produced 649 original graphics, 88 intelligence posters, 105 PowerPoint templates and 22 teaching and learning icons, plus 54 still images and 16,110 seconds of MP4 videos of intelligence related scenarios.
The team has also delivered a total of 54 weeks of training to 100 students, consisting of induction training (2 weeks), course delivery (51 weeks), and continuation training (1 week).
As well as delivering actual training, we have a team of training experts working with customers to develop their training requirements and efficiencies.
This year, our Training Services Division has created 348 pages of findingS and recommendations for training scoping and needs analysis customers. They’ve also completed 98 data collection events.
Our virtual learning environment has once again proved to be highly successful in supporting training delivery, with 183 students using the portal this year during 6573 logins.
And, if that wasn't enough, our cyber experts supported 100 cyber investigations on behalf of defence customers!
This year, our team attended 38 external shows, events, and conferences.
At AOC Europe, our EWT&T team hosted over 50 people from 30 organisations who were interested in electronic warfare training and education in general.
Glynn Johns (L) and Luke Cabot at AOC Europe
DSEI was undoubtedly the biggest of all of those; this year’s show was a record-breaker, and it was equally busy for us too.
Over the course of 4 days, we held 119 meetings on our stand, and attended 19 more on other exhibitors’ stands.
And, in just 3 days, we served 700 drinks at our Happy Hour events!
(We did try to count how many Inzpire-branded jelly babies had been consumed on the stand – but it’d take us until next year to count. Let’s just say, the figure was “a lot”!).
As always, this year we’ve donated a significant amount to charity and sponsored many fantastic causes as a company, both within the defence industry and within our local community.
And many of our teams have been supporting causes close to their hearts too. Not least our mission systems team, who somehow found the time to train for, and take part in, a dragon boat race! They took to the water July in aid of the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and raised over £5,000 (in fact they won the prize for the team who had raised the most money). They very narrowly placed 2nd in the race – just 0.47 seconds behind the winners.
Most recently, our head office team also collected and filled 6 boxes full of gifts to donate to Samaritan’s Purse as part of their Christmas gift appeal.
Our head office team also collected and filled boxes full of gifts to donate to Samaritan’s Purse
Our Maritime Division continued their support to the HMS Sultan boxing show, Royal Navy Athletics Team and the Royal Navy Ski Champs, with the latter resulting in 1 damaged shoulder and 1 bruised ego...
The Inzpire STEM volunteers have had a busy year representing the company at large scale STEM events and as STEM ambassadors at schools and youth organisations.
The team took part in 3 big events: Forces in STEM at RAF Cosford for 1500 students; the RAF Air Cadets National Air and Space Industry Day for 2000 cadets; and the Flight Crowd Bootcamp for 1500 students. The team has also attended 17 STEM events at schools and youth groups reaching out to over 600 students.
Our cyber specialists have also attended 3 CyberFirst Empower events in northwest England. One of Northwest CyberFirst’s main initiatives is encouraging girls to take an interest in technology careers, particularly cybersecurity, and this year our cyber team delivered 18 activities for 400 girls aged 12-13.
And now, we're all enjoying some (very) well-earned downtime, recharging and preparing for an equally busy 2024.
To all of our industry friends, colleagues, and partners who have helped us achieve these incredible stats - thank you. We look forward to working together again in the coming year!
Our team are here to help. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small, please get in touch.